German bookings for Greek holidays fell 9 pct in January


New worrying signs from Germany are causing concern about the course of tourism in Greece this year, as holiday market experts at European research company GfK say that the number of bookings from Greece’s biggest market posted a big annual drop in January.

Package holiday sales for this summer were down 9 percent from a year earlier last month, which is traditionally among the most important months for summer bookings. This means there is a 2 percent decline in bookings for summer 2019 compared to the same time in 2018, with bookings for July lagging 12 percent while August’s are down 3 percent.

GfK’s data are based on the comparison of 2,000 representative travel agencies – bricks-and-mortar and online – and tour operators.

The companies serving the German holiday market had already noted a declining trend in November and December, so January was the third consecutive southbound month on an annual basis. GfK said that the “weaker holiday demand” is partly explained by the very strong growth rate seen last year, especially in January 2018.

Agents in Germany now hope that the German consumers are simply delaying their vacation bookings and aren’t planning DIY road trip holidays within Germany or neighboring countries.